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Thousand-Virgin Watershed (USGS #16040205)

The Thousand-Virgin watershed is located in southern Harney County in Oregon and parts of Humboldt and Washoe Counties in Nevada. The 173,000-acre watershed is almost entirely public land

The watershed consists of mostly shrubland and rangeland. Precipitation is least in the southern region, at less than 9 inches a year, and most in the northern region, at 21 to 35 inches per year. Most of the watershed is classified as high lava plain ecosystems, characterized by arid shrublands and small, intermittent lakes. In the southern portion of the watershed within Oregon is classified as a pluvial lake terrace ecosystem, and the eastern border of the watershed is classified as semiarid uplands with hills and mountains.

Within the Thousand-Virgin watershed, resources concerns include the invasion of noxious weeds, soil erosion, and declining fish and wildlife habitat. Organizations that are working to manage and protect this watershed include the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Solv Watershed Programs, the Oregon State University Watershed Extension Program, Oregon Conservation Network, and the Oregon Watershed Land Trust.


USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service hydrologic profile for the Thousand-Virgin watershed

The Environmental Protection Agency's Surf Your Watershed for the Thousand-Virgin watershed

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's Strategy for Monitoring Oregon's Waters

Authored by Caitlin Bell, Science Writer, Oregon Explorer